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    July 15, 2007

    Logged Dive #244 – The Palos Verdes Underwater Arch

    The Palos Verdes Underwater Arch off the Island Diver
    Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

    Dove With Juan Twenty and Drysuit Greg

    In With: 2200 psi
    Out With: 900 psi
    Max depth: 55 feet
    Waves: Minor chop
    Visibility: 10-15 feet but pretty silty
    Water Temperature: About 55 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: about 35 minutes

    After a carefully timed surface interval – almost an hour, we were ready to explore the Palos Verdes Underwater Arch.

    It’s located off the shore at the very end of Hawthorne Blvd.

    I had no idea where anything was.

    The Captain pointed toward shore and said, “the arch is over there.”

    I asked Juan if I could follow him.

    Not only because I didn’t know where to go and what to look for, I was also following his dive computer’s profile.

    We all submerged to about 55 feet and followed Juan to the edge of a reef.

    There was a lot of silt in the water, not too much color.

    After a few minutes of maneuvering, we came across the arch.

    If the vis would have been better, I might have been more impressed, but it was a novel place to be.

    I had not even known that this arch existed, and I grew up in this area.

    Juan took a picture of Greg and I going through the arch; I did the same for Juan.

    I would have to estimate that the arch lies in about 50 feet of water at the base and comes up to 30 feet or so at the top.

    Me at the PV arch.

    Photo By Juan Twenty

    There’s enough room for three divers to squeeze through at once.

    I wish the visibility was better.

    This is a place that looks pretty pristine.

    Not many divers have been through here compared to Malaga Cove and Long Point.

    We followed Juan through and back around the arch where we saw a sun star — a starfish with many legs.

    I believe that’s the first time I’ve seen one.

    After another trek swimming over sand we all motioned to ascend.

    We sort of blew off the safety stop — we had no location perception, so we didn’t know if we were being swept away by a current.

    Upon surfacing we had a short 20 yard swim back to the boat against mild current.

    I broke open my stash of beer and started handing them out.

    Juan said, “You may be the only one drinking. We’re going to help repair the dock when we get back.”

    I was warned about such an activity beforehand in an email.

    Having dove in a harbor before and remembering how absolutely obnoxious it was – the water was murky and tasted like diesel fuel and swamp water – I made sure to consume as much beer as possible so I could only be deemed capable of shore support.

    We took a group shot after the dives for insurance purposes.

    Photo By Juan Twenty

    We took a group shot after the dives for insurance purposes.

    The Captain called ahead and had pizza and beer waiting for our return.

    I helped lower buoys and untangle and feed the air lines to the SCUBA crew.

    I also documented the episode with Juan’s camera…

    Divers wait in nasty harbor water for a float.

    Divers wait in nasty harbor water for a float.

    The buoys are carefully lowered.

    The buoys are carefully lowered.

    One of the divers told me, “the pizza and beer are for the people doing the real work.”

    “Great!” I thought.

    I helped myself!

    I stayed until about 5 PM doing what I could to help above the water.

    After a while though, I thought I would be more productive drinking beer and staying out of the way.

    Logged Dive #243 – Pt Vicente Wall From The Island Diver

    Dive On the Point Vicente Wall off the Island Diver
    Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA

    In With: 3000 psi
    Out With: 2200 psi
    Max depth: About 40 feet
    Waves: choppy
    Visibility: 10-15 feet
    Water Temperature: 55 degrees
    Total Bottom Time: 18 minutes
    Notable Event: Distress Call From Another Boat

    Dove with Juan Twenty, Mirek and others.

    Should this be considered a dive?

    We all had made it back on board, but due to no current, nobody saw the wall.

    So the plan was to move to the small rock island off of the Point Vicente Lighthouse and go down for “a few minutes” to check it out.

    Well, only a few minutes… I mean really, I just got out of the water so I didn’t really have a surface interval.

    I mentioned to Juan Twenty that I only had 700 psi left in my tank.

    People were concerned, so I switched tanks and proudly exclaimed, “I’ve never run out of air and don’t intend on doing it today.”

    Laila seemed relieved.

    We jumped over, swam towards the rocks and submerged.

    I followed Juan, but pretty much we went as a group before breaking up in to two groups.

    Juan, Mirek and me looked around the wall.

    Just me being macho.

    Photo By Juan Twenty

    Thousands of muscle shells littered the base of the wall.

    There was a sense that “not too many people have dove here.”

    Sea urchins, fish, a few octopuses – and then we came across a plaque that stated something along the lines of:

    “The Artist Of The Deep Blue”

    “_en Wayne Redding”

    “1961-1998”

    Artist Of The Deep Blue

    Photo By Juan Twenty

    An internet search revealed nothing.

    We swam toward the direction of the boat and surfaced fairly close to it.

    The others who broke off from our group were shortly behind.

    I’m glad that I did switch tanks.

    I would have been really rushed for time.

    Once on board, we heard a distress call coming in over the emergency radio channel.

    With my recollection, along with a post on divevets.com from Max Bottomtime, here is a close transcription of the call:

    RADIO: We need immediate assistance!!!!

    Coast Guard: Were you the people yelling mayday a few minutes ago?

    RADIO: Yes!! We have three people down! Three people down!

    Coast Guard: What is your location?

    RADIO: We are at Rocky Point near the white lighthouse.

    Coast Guard: What are your GPS coordinates?

    RADIO: We are between Long Beach and Marina Del Rey at the breakwater near the white lighthouse!!!! Please help us! This is an emergency!!!

    Coast Guard: Which break water?

    RADIO: The Long Beach Break water!!!!

    Coast Guard: What is the nature of your emergency?

    RADIO: Our anchor is stuck and we have three people down! Three People Down!!!!!

    Coast Guard: What is the specific emergency?

    RADIO: They are sea sick and barfing all over my boat! We need assistance right now!!!

    (Long Pause)

    UNKNOWN VOICE: Be sure to kill them when you find them!

    Everyone listening just busted out laughing at such a ridiculous call!

    Max Bottomtime, who was listening on another boat, put in his post, “As soon as he said they were barfing we almost fell out of the boat laughing.”

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